MICHAEL COREN: Our next guest, great pleasure actually to have him on the show, Steve Emerson is the author of six books and coauthor of two more. His television documentary "Jihad in America" won the 1994 George Polk award for best television documentary and top prize for best investigative reporting. It was seminal, iconic in fact, in explaining to North Americans just what the threats were out there. He joins us from Washington, DC. Welcome to you, sir.
STEVEN EMERSON: Thank you. Thank you, good to be with you. Just to let you know, we're coming out with a new documentary at the end of the year called, "Jihad in America II, The Grand Deception." It has been in the works for three years and it deals with a little variant of what the first documentary did. It talks about the stealth Jihad.
COREN: We'll get to that in a few moments. The first one, I think I know the answer to this, but after you made it, can you now walk around in the USA? Can you travel without protection? Do you feel safe?
EMERSON: Well, let's just say there are threats that come in through emails, and faxes, and voicemail. They are discounted. The ones that are serious, and there have been several, are the ones that I get notified by intelligence agencies. The most recent one was in May. They caught someone coming in for a certain country in the Middle East with a hit list of eight people to assassinate and I was complimented by the fact that I was number one. Since 1996 when I got my first serious threat, I had to move out of my condominium into an undisclosed apartment. Look, you get used to it. Usually I have a staffer start my car in the morning.
COREN: That is a great job. What would you like to do? I would like to start Mr. Emerson's car every morening. That is terrific. But, seriously though, it is extraordinary that you make a documentary that is thoroughly researched showing there are people who admit their intent on destroying the United States, the United States way of life and the West. And for doing this, those same people, in the name of peace, then threaten to kill you.
EMERSON: You know, I am not alone. Look at Teddy Van Gogh in the Netherlands who was stabbed and shot 21 times. Look what happened with the Danish cartoons--the number of people killed. Look what happened to the French magazine that was just firebombed. The problem is that the radicals, I can't tell you what percentage they control of the entire Muslim community. I would presume they are just a relative fraction, but they dominate the leadership and they incite people to basically carry out violence or carry out intimidation. The violence aspect is something people recognize. The intimidation is not always that clear or observable.
COREN: It is one thing for us to be threatened. When I say us, I mean the collective West- Canada, Britain, and so on. But, the other aspect of this is refusing or failing to admit it or be aware of it. I think that ordinary Americans believe there is a threat, but the elite, the leadership, seem to be at least, in utter and constant denial.
EMERSON: I would agree with you. The bottom line is that, one, there is the American Muslim leadership which is 95% dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and that is documentable. They refuse to distinguish the difference between radical Islam and Islam. I have been documenting this for 15 years in my nonprofit institute. The statements made by Islamic leaders in the US behind closed doors in which they vow Jihad against Jews, and Christians, and the US. I am only repeating what they say, I am not making it up. So these groups contend that if you criticize radical Islam, it is equivalent to attacking Islam. They want to blur the distinction and I always make the distinction. We criticize the Japanese Yakuza, the Italian Mafia, the Colombian Cartels. No problem doing it, right? When it comes to dealing with Islamic terrorism, the Obama administration for example has never used that term once.
COREN: Fascinating. Now, Barak Obama, I have many problems with his presidency but I don't believe that he wishes America to be destroyed. Does he sincerely believe that if he is gentle enough and passive enough that the Islamic world will change its opinion and suddenly think that the West is really great fun to be a friend?
EMERSON: Good question. I can't get inside of his mind. I see the policies that are sent through to the Department of Justice, FBI. For example, the FBI has been told in the last two weeks to recall any PowerPoint presentation, film, documentary that is offensive to Muslims. I have had calls from dozens of FBI agents who are just livid about this. And this is because of the influence of these Muslim Brotherhood groups who know that carrying out violence like al-Qaida did is not the way to go because it alienates Americans. So they insert themselves [into our societal institutions in an effort to carry out a stealth jihad]. As far as Obama's beliefs, I must tell you, I think that he is sympathetic in some sense to the Muslim Brotherhood or the Islamists. Now, I don't have the exact proof, I can't get in his mind, but if you look at the first speech he gave, in February of '09 in Cairo. Who occupied the first two rows of seats? The Muslim Brotherhood. They are now talking to the Muslim Brotherhood, they invite MB groups into the White House, into the Department of Justice, Homeland Security. So there is a pattern here. My feeling is that we need to do outreach, we need to talk to Muslims, but [we] talk to Muslims who are presenting a moderate view instead of [those false "moderates" who are in fact] inciting their communities.
COREN: I just want people watching, Canadians watching, who may not be aware of this. I think most would be, of how and please don't be falsely modest, with how eminent you are, you have the ear of many extremely powerful people, you are not someone who has a blog somewhere in a basement. You are taken extremely seriously by both friends and by enemies. The documentary "Jihad in America" changed millions of lives. You are saying to me that you actually think Barak Obama is not just a useful idiot, you really do believe that he has a certain sympathy for the fundamentalism of the Muslim Brotherhood?
EMERSON: Again, I don't want to go out too much because I can't read into it. I can only look at his policies and his appointments and the fact that he only talks about al-Qaida as the threat, al-Qaida ideology. He never uses the term 'radical Islamic militant,' never at all. His own people, the Attorney General Holder was quizzed by a House [Congressional] Committee. Again, he refused to use the term 'radical Islam.' And also, if you look at who they invite into the White House. We have been investigating, there are undisclosed invitations and visits by people representing Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. This has not come out. And then you look at other policies, in terms of recognizing, and legitimizing, and dialoguing with the MB. I think the MB is one of these fascist groups that is living in the 7th century and wants to basically control the world. And that is the bottom line here. We wouldn't deal with the Ku Klux Klan, why are we dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood?
COREN: Well said. Stay with us please, we are going to go to another segment with your fascinating stuff.
COREN: We are back with Steve Emerson. By the way, just to remind you, that tonight on Byline, Mark Stein is on for the full hour. This is the only station, only network that you are going to see people like this. Mark Stein on I think November 30th. But, Steve Emerson and his documentary "Jihad in America" here. We are going to talk about the sequel if you like here in a few moments, but Steve I want to ask you this first. You mentioned Barak Obama, there are a lot of influential people in American media, NY Times and elsewhere who are Jewish. The most hated targets for people like the Muslim Brotherhood, we know to be Jews. Yet, so many of these people, so many Jewish people, and I say here in Canada too are paying us to talk about the odd neo-Nazi skinhead who frankly is irrelevant. But, they won't embrace this idea that Islamic world, the radical Islamic world, does not like Jews. It is not even about Israel. It is about Jewish people.
EMERSON: Right. You know you are 100% right Michael. And I often get calls from Congressmen and other people who say 'I support Israel' and yet I am being condemned by my Jewish constituents. First of all, I don't have a sociological explanation except to say I believe the Jewish people have a suicidal impulse because they support people that would deny their very existence and actually would try to eliminate them. The fact is that you raise a great question. There is something going on in probably, I don't want to speculate. All I want to say is, it is very troubling. You are 100% right and the fact that you see so many Jewish liberals or radicals who either condemn Israel or support Obama for his policies, which I think hurt Israel, or you see them supporting such left-wing causes. That would deny the rights of Jews or even their existence is one of those contradictions in life that has yet to be explained except if someone was doing a DNA analysis.
COREN: Let's talk about the new documentary, a sequel. It is what has happened since the last one. Is that the basis of it?
EMERSON: Well, basically the bottom line is this. I created an institute and I got to plug it anyway. It is a nonprofit group called The Investigative Project on Terrorism. Its website is www.investigativeproject.org. And if you want to subscribe, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. That's enough of my commercial. This [new documentary] shows the [covert] transition of Islamists in the United States from their violence to the their active integration and penetration of major societal institutions that was outlined in a series of incredible documents discovered by the FBI in 2004. Serendipitously, in the home of a Hamas leader. It described how they were going to penetrate institutions of the media, Congress, Hollywood. They have done it successfully. People say, you are just a conspiratorialist. This documentary will actually provide the proof. It will show what goes on behind closed doors, it will show documents and speeches that we have recorded undercover. I think people will be shocked by this because the juxtaposition of what these groups say publically by saying, 'we're moderate, we're against terrorism,' versus what they say internally. And how they have manipulated Hollywood, they manipulated the media. I have seen emails between reporters at the New York Times and a Hamas front group in which the reporters actually say 'we will write whatever you want us to say.'
COREN: That is incredible.
EMERSON: It is shocking! One of my problems is that I can't burn my sources, but I will tell you this much. The documentary goes into [the Stealth Jihad] and it is called "The Grand Deception," because people are being deceived by members of Congress, by Hollywood, by mainstream media, by think tanks. Would you ever put on David Duke and present [him] as a civil rights leader? That is exactly what is going on.
COREN: Incredible. In terms of the Islamic diaspora, between Europe and North America. In Europe, we'll see Islamic groups burning poppies; in France we will see mass demonstrations, violence and so on. But in North America, think of parts of Michigan where there are large Muslim groups, they seem to be if not assimilated, law abiding, American, relatively patriotic. So the image, the vision we are getting is of a different Islam in the United States and Canada.
EMERSON: Well, first of all, I would say that the vast majority of Muslims are peace loving and moderate. Let me just get that out of the way so that nobody accuses me of saying that all Muslims are terrorists. I don't say that. I am only talking about a minor fraction here, but if you say if even .5% of the entire 1.5 billion Muslims are willing to carry out violence, that is a lot of people, that is 100,000 people. If you say that there are 5% who believe in Jihad, but wouldn't pull the trigger, that is another of couple of hundred million. Number three is the tragedy is that there is [virtually] no dissent [within the Muslim communities]. Canada is the exception. I must tell you, Canada is the one country where you actually see Islamic dissent from people who are Muslims and they dissent from the radicals and they are not afraid to do so. I have to admire Canada for that despite other security problems. But in Europe, the communities are controlled by Muslim Brotherhood groups, by Hizb al-Tahrir, by other Salafist groups. They get all the money. There is no American Muslims for peace now. There is no money for them. They get shunned, they get called Uncle Tom, they get intimidated, they get attacked. There is really a sort of a control over who gets the microphone and MB groups, Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the US totally dominated the microphone. Most outrageous is that the US government and the US media are somewhat in deliberate collusion because they know what they stand for. I can tell you that personally.
COREN: Last question, the Arab Spring. The rejoicing in the West that it is all going to be free, democratic, and lovely. Will we see an increased influence of Islamist groups, particularly the Brotherhood in Egypt? Syria, Assad is not a good man, but what could easily replace him could be a Muslim Brotherhood influence. This doesn't look very encouraging to me.
EMERSON: Rashid Ghanouchi, head of al-Nadha, they just got the plurality of votes in Tunisia. The New York Times called them a democrat, a liberal, a pluralist. Here is a guy that issued a fatwa, a religious decree, six months ago calling for the killing of all Jews and Americans. This is crazy the way they are being misrepresented in the West. I believe that one year from now, we will see Muslim Brotherhood, Islamist dominated governments in Egypt, in Syria, and in Tunisia.
COREN: I might as well go off my diet there is so much time left.
EMERSON: I must say, I really want democracy to take hold.
COREN: We all do, but there is a difference between wanting something and being realistic. I wish we had more time. Steve Emerson, terrific stuff. Thank you for what you do and thank you for your time.
EMERSON: You are very welcome.